Nutrition and Pregnancy
How much weight should I gain?
Recommended Weight gain during a singleton pregnancy:
Underweight women (BMI less than 20) 28-40 lbs
Normal Weight Women (BMI 20-25) 25-35 lbs
Overweight women (BMI 26-29) 15-25 lbs or less depending on pre-pregnancy weight
Most will gain 2-4 lbs during the first trimester, then 1 pound per week for the rest of pregnancy.
What foods should I eat or avoid eating?
Pregnant women need an additional 100-300 calories per day.
The best diet for pregnant women and people, in general, is one rich in plants: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, nuts, and beans with a moderate amount of fish, poultry, and dairy.
Foods to avoid:
- Raw meat and eggs-Avoid undercooked or raw beef, poultry, shellfish
- Fish with Mercury- Avoid fish with high levels of mercury including swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Limit consumption of fish to twice per week
- Smoked seafood
- Soft Cheeses unless made with pasteurized milk
- Unpasteurized milk
- Caffeine- Limit caffeine intake to 200mg (the equivalent of 1 1/2 cups of coffee a day.
- Unwashed vegetables- Make sure to wash all produce to avoid toxoplasmosis which can be in the soil where the vegetables are grown.
- Deli Meat/Hot Dogs-Heat until steaming
What can I do to help my morning sickness?
- Eat small, frequent meals that are easy to digest. An empty stomach can make nausea worse. Avoid foods that are greasy, spicy, sugary, or fatty.
- Bland foods such as bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are easier to digest.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid foods and smells that make nausea worse
- Get outdoors to breathe in the fresh air.
- If you find that your prenatal vitamin is making you nauseous, you may take it at night with a snack to ease symptoms
- Make sure to rinse your mouth after vomiting to avoid tooth decay.
- Have a snack before bedtime to ease morning nausea.
- Seabands apply gentle pressure to the wrists and may ease nausea.
If vomiting is severe, or you are unable to keep fluids down without vomiting for more than 12 hours please contact the office.
Your body and mind experiences many changes following the birth of your baby
Many women experience the “baby blues” which usually begins 2-3 days after delivery and lasts for 2 weeks. Postpartum depression may show more severe or persistent symptoms, up to a year after the birth of your baby.
What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
- Depressed mood or mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Trouble bonding with your baby
- Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
- Overwhelming fear or anxiety
- Excessive irritability or anger
- Inability to sleep, even when baby is sleeping
- Severe anxiety or panic attacks
- Feelings of worthlessness that you are not a good mother.
- Difficulty making decisions or concentrating.
What is postpartum Psychosis?
Postpartum Psychosis is a rare occurrence, affecting approximately 1 out of every 1000 births. If you experience hallucinations, thoughts of harming yourself or your baby. You should seek help right away and call 911.
Can new fathers experience postpartum depression?
Yes, men may exhibit the same symptoms during their partner pregnancy or up to the first year postpartum. Men who have struggled with depression and anxiety in the past, are young, or who struggle financially are at greater risk.
Resources and When to see your doctor?
1 out of 7 women will experience postpartum depression in the year after giving birth. If you are having difficulty caring for yourself, your baby, excessive sadness or anxiety please contact us to schedule an appointment either in office or through telehealth.
If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby. Please call 911 or Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255) Live Online Chat.
We can offer lactation support and treatment of breast infections through telehealth services.
What is colostrum?
Colostrum is a baby’s first superfood. It is a yellowish fluid rich in nutrients and antibodies that fight disease. It also acts as a laxative to clear out a baby’s first stool (meconium). It is important to note, that a baby’s stomach is very small at birth. A healthy baby may take 2-10ml per feeding during the first 24 hours and increase to 1-2 oz per feed by the end of day 3.
When will my milk come in?
Milk production changes from colostrum to mature milk between days 2-5. You may experience breast fullness, swelling, tingling, or leaking of milk. The baby may have a change in feeding pattern. If you are expressing milk or leaking, you may notice that milk changes from the golden yellow of colostrum to thinner and whiter mature milk. The timing is hormonally controlled, however early and continued skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding early and often will allow the mother to have a higher milk production. This helps infants to lose less weight and have a lower risk of jaundice.
What are the signs of a breast infection (Mastitis)?
Fever, chills, redness, tenderness, or warmth of the breast. If you experience any of these symptoms please contact us for further care.
If you develop these symptoms, it is important that you continue nursing on the affected breast as inadequate milk removal can worsen symptoms.
What do I do if my nipples are sore?
Breastfeeding is not meant to cause pain. You may feel some discomfort during the first few days, while you and your baby learn proper latching. If you continue to have pain, you should seek a lactation consultant to help improve your baby’s latch.
- Use relaxation techniques while nursing
- Express a little milk first to help stimulate a let down.
- Change breast pads frequently to keep the nipple dry.
- Express milk onto the nipples and allow them to air dry. You may also use USP modified lanolin to create a barrier around the nipple.